Three Prayers from South Africa

This morning I share three poems from Isobel de Gruchy a wonderful poet and liturgist from South Africa.

Morning Prayer

As I open the door and step out into a new day,

Father/Mother God, be there with me:
To guide me and protect me.

Jesus, be my companion:
May I walk in your way,
See with your eyes,
Judge with your mercy,
Love with your love.

Spirit, live in me:
May I grow in love,
Be filled with joy,
Have peace within and without,
Deal patiently with all,
Even the most annoying,
Act only in kindness,
Be generous,
Remain faithful,
Be gentle with the weak,
And have an inward control that comes from a self renewed.

Praise be to God.


Lord, I have seen again the real self
that hides behind the facade of graciousness,
the self that sets standards for others,
the self that looks at people from a haughty self-righteous position
and sees what is not right in them according to those standards,
the self that passes judgment,
clothing it in concern for their well-being,
but just being mean or unthinking,
or trying to be clever or witty.

Lord, I have seen my real self again
and I don’t like what I see.
You see that real self too –
look with compassion,
be merciful and forgive me –yet again.
You see my short-comings, my self-interest,
my wilful desire to follow my own way,
my lack of love.

Help me to see it in myself too, Lord,
before I even think, act, open my mouth.
And having seen, help me to change,
so that my real self may become more like you.

Prayer about Truth

Lord, why does goodness seem so boring,
Naughtiness much more enticing?
Why is kindness so bland,
But taking the mickey out of someone fun?
Why is patience seen as weakness
but aggression as strength?
And truth. Lord, even when we get hold of it,
is it always right and necessary to express it –
for sometimes the truth is upsetting and unhelpful.

Lord, you said you were the truth, (1)
And that you desire truth in my inmost being: (2)
Help me to see the truth about myself,
And if it is painful, help me to deal with it,
And to live out your truth
And if I see the truth about others,
Help me to put love first in saying the truth. (3)

So Lord, may goodness entice me,
May kindness be the most fun,
May patience be a strength to me
And truth exist alongside love,
And set us all free.(4)

(1)   John 14:6
(2)   Ps 51:6
(3)    Eph 4:15
(4)   John 8:36
Let me remind you of “Making All Things” Well Isobel’s wonderful new book of reflections based in the understandings of Julian of Norwich.

Making All Things Well

Making All Things Well

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